114

Joe McPhee/Dominic Duval/ Jay Rosen: Trio X: Rapture

Derek Taylor By

Sign in to view read count
Joe McPhee/Dominic Duval/ Jay Rosen: Trio X: Rapture Back in the early days of free jazz improvisation many musicians who chose to play multiple instruments were singled out as scapegoats by critics interested in discrediting the music. The logic (or illogic) behind these naysayers’ arguments posited that a division of energy and focus between instruments would necessarily result in decreased proficiency. Many of the music’s detractors claimed that the new sounds being explored by these musicians were the direct result of such assumed deficiency. Legends like Roland Kirk and Eric Dolphy were among the players who came under repeated fire and if Joe McPhee had been counted in their number no doubt he too would have suffered similar slings and arrows. Like Kirk and Dolphy, McPhee’s palette is filled with a diversity of instruments, and his towering abilities on each become readily apparent to the serious listener.

That being said, those looking for evidence of McPhee’s multi-instrumental prowess will be surprised by this disc. McPhee eschews his usual satchel of reeds and brass and concentrates only on saxophone. “Elegy” is an opening summons for solo bass, brief in duration, but long on ideas. Duval carries his improvisation into the lengthy and radical reading of the old spiritual “Lift Every Voice and Sing” blending together with Herlein’s piercing violin in a mutual display of high string harmonics. Similar harmonic artifices are employed during a duet between McPhee’s horn and Herlein’s wailing voice. Later violin and amplified bass sheathed in electronic overtones engage in still another conversation, elaborated by cascading cymbals and sulfurous sax. Rosen’s innumerable percussive inventions provide the propulsive undercurrent that prevents the music from flagging in its own intricacies. Herlien is definitely the wild card here and her contributions take Trio X in directions previously unexplored by these three masters of the unexpected. The piece expands and contracts with glorious uncertainty for nearly fifty minutes and the three find a staggering variety of ways to interact across its duration. The far shorter “Rapture” is an extended exercise in whistling microtones.

Though the session was recorded live at the Knitting Factory, the audience in attendance is strangely absent for most of the piece only choosing to erupt boisterously at the close. This disc is easily recommended to both long time McPhee fans and neophytes interested in learning what all the excitement surrounding the man is really about. It could also serve as a final nail in the coffin for those fusty critics mentioned earlier who argued so adamantly against the merits of mulit-instrumentalism.


Track Listing: Elegy: Upon Mourning, Lift Every Voice and Sing, Rapture.

Recorded: December 28, 1998, The Knitting Factory, New York City, NY.

Available through Cadence/NorthCountry Distributors (www.cadencebuilding.com)

Personnel: Joe McPhee- saxophone, Jay Rosen- drums, Dominic Duval- double bass, live electronics, Rosi Hertlein- violin, voice.

Title: Rapture | Year Released: 1999 | Record Label: Cadence Jazz Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Masters In Bordeaux CD/LP/Track Review Masters In Bordeaux
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 19, 2017
Read On Parade In Parede CD/LP/Track Review On Parade In Parede
by John Sharpe
Published: August 19, 2017
Read Good Merlin CD/LP/Track Review Good Merlin
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: August 19, 2017
Read I Believe In You CD/LP/Track Review I Believe In You
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 18, 2017
Read Morning Sun CD/LP/Track Review Morning Sun
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 18, 2017
Read The Conscience CD/LP/Track Review The Conscience
by John Sharpe
Published: August 18, 2017
Read "East West Time Line" CD/LP/Track Review East West Time Line
by Geannine Reid
Published: April 10, 2017
Read "King For A Day" CD/LP/Track Review King For A Day
by Glenn Astarita
Published: June 3, 2017
Read "Copenhagen Live 1964" CD/LP/Track Review Copenhagen Live 1964
by Mark Corroto
Published: May 30, 2017
Read "Small Pieces" CD/LP/Track Review Small Pieces
by James Nadal
Published: April 6, 2017
Read "Fractured Pop" CD/LP/Track Review Fractured Pop
by Jerome Wilson
Published: April 20, 2017
Read "Beekman Vol. 02" CD/LP/Track Review Beekman Vol. 02
by Budd Kopman
Published: November 23, 2016

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.